Posts Tagged ‘Self’

I have absorbed the body trauma meditating yesterday

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Yesterday, I meditated five hours total in one hour increments. A past Trauma popped up with all its emotional terror, being trapped inside my body.

Trauma is stored at the time it occurs and with the ability at that age. My 19 year old self is much different than this 68 year old self.

The power, the intensity, the sheer anger and hurt shocked me.

All my skills had not stopped this trauma from taking over for a week.

Yesterday during my meditative sets, I brought the event to the surface, then observed all the fear, shame, anger and confusion without reaction.

I learned this as titration, you bring your trauma up for a couple minutes of thought, then meditate. The goal is to settle the nervous system back to normal.

Yes, I triggered myself, so I could integrate the fear. It is the road less travelled for sure.

That’s how healing happened originally. Triggers always caused me to avoid until I realized healing goes directly through the center of our fear (trauma).

The goal is not to squash the danger, it is to do nothing, accept and surrender from a distance.

This process integrates the stored trauma from the body and amygdala.

It is a very simple process, however it takes a strong ability to focus and courage to face our fears.

As long as our trauma has these strong negative emotions to reinforce its storyline, we lose.

For a couple of days, I was a victim, experiencing the tragedy in its full power.

It takes me a while for the mind to grapple with the demon.

Today, my system has absorbed most of the stored trauma, settled closer to my normal existence. I have separation of my 19 year old ego and my 68 year old ego again.

I forgot the intensity, the confusion and the outright terror PTSD wields when aroused. It’s been five years since anything like this has happened.

What seemed overwhelming last week, has shrunk to very unpleasant.

Settling the nervous system makes PTSD much easier to handle.

Thoughts?

Writing a few post with me suffering with PTSD, was difficult sharing the last couple of days. I knew everyone would be watching to see how I would handle it.

Do I just talk the talk or walk the walk. I have an added responsibility to not feel sorry for myself or be a victim. That actually adds to my motivation to never give in, never give up.

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Part 2: narrative based and immediate based selfs

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Neurological research using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has shown that these two forms of self-awareness—narrative-based self and immediacy-based self—are located in two separate areas of the brain (Farb et al. 2007).

Using neuroimagery, which can detect which “self” people are operating from, this study compared novice meditators to people who had participated in an eight-week program in mindfulness meditation.

When participants shifted from a narrative focus to their immediate experience, fMRIs indicated that the experienced meditators had less activity in the region associated with the narrative-based self.

In other words, through the practice of mindfulness meditation we can disidentify from the self we’ve created with our stories and discover a new sense of self based in the present moment.

The narrative-based self lives in a continuum of past and future, and as such is the source of wanting, dissatisfaction, and judging—in short, suffering.

The immediacy-based self exists only in the here and now.

These two orientations in the world are fundamentally (and neurologically) different.

The immediacy-based self lives with the inescapable emotional pain of being human, yet it is also present for the breeze on your face or the birdsong that you cannot feel or hear when you’re preoccupied with thoughts and stories.

The narrative-based self can help you avoid much of the emotional pain that’s inevitable when living in the here and now, but you pay the price, as you must instead live with the suffering that self-limiting stories create.

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Part 1: narrative based and immediate based selfs

Pixabay: ToNic-Pics

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“Living with your Heart Wide Open” by Steve Flowers

“The hunger from unmet needs can form a central theme in the story you repeat to yourself, creating a narrative of a wounded self.

As described above, the narrative-based self exists across time and continuously creates itself through the stories it repeats.

We mistakenly believe this “self” is a somewhat permanent entity that endures through the constant changes of life.

(my two cents: this self is our created “Ego”)

Psychologist William James characterized the narrative-based self as a construction of narratives woven together from the threads of experiences over time into a cohesive concept we reference as “me” to make sense of the “I” acting in the present moment (James 1890).

The immediacy-based self, in contrast, is a creature of the here and now.

It is grounded in the experience of who you are in each moment.

This sense of self exists only in the present moment and therefore is ageless and timeless.

It is the primary orientation from which awareness is experienced and thus is not characterized by concepts such as gender, race, religion, and personal history.

As such, the immediacy-based self is not a thing but rather an active center of awareness from which you can acknowledge moment-to-moment experience.

From this perspective, Descartes’s famous dictum becomes “I experience what’s happening, therefore I am.”

Neurological research using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has shown that these two forms of self-awareness—narrative-based self and immediacy-based self—are located in two separate areas of the brain (Farb et al. 2007).

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The self has no independent existence whatsoever.

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“Buddha’s Brain”: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom by Rick Hanson

The self keeps changing; in the brain, every manifestation of the self is impermanent.

Just as the individual frames in a movie create the illusion of motion, the overlapping neural assemblies that flow together and then disperse create the illusion of a coherent and continuous self.

The self arises and changes depending on various conditions, notably pleasant and unpleasant feeling tones.

It also depends on relationships—including with the wider world.

The most fundamental basis for the sense of “I”—the subjectivity inherent in awareness—emerges in the relationship between the body and the world.

The self has no independent existence whatsoever.

Self-related mental activity, including the sense of being the subject of experience, refers to a unified, enduring, independent “I” who is the essential owner of experiences and agent of actions—but such a one does not exist.

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My two cents: The self, the sense of “I”, is our “Ego”.

The need for identity is why we create him/her, not a captain for our ship.

As Hanson says, “The self has no independent existence whatsoever.”

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The CONTRAST before and after HEALING !!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Severe childhood abuse impacted how my mind wired together, besides filling my amygdala with trauma laced implicit memories.

Even after healing, remnants exist in the recesses of my mind.

Before I healed, suffering was compounded by thoughts that were endless, intrusive and completely unworthy in nature.

Severely abused kids carry the damage not only in the mind but throughout our bodies.

Hard to describe an upside down nervous system erupting double digit times everyday.

Healing was long, arduous and painful for me.

The contrast before and after healing, Startling.

Just the elimination of intrusive thoughts seemed Euphoric.

The absence of suffering can be considered Exhilarating on its own.

The cessation of never feeling good enough Ecstatic.

This concept like PTSD can not be described by words but experienced in real life.

Beyond the euphoric and ecstatic, the ability to let the noise go and enter this moment unencumbered by unworthy thought, seems miraculous at first.

Yes, I came back to earth after a while.

Learning to accept and not question or resent my childhood abuse was not easy.

Moving forward, my childhood still can be awakened and unleashed.

This lives a short existence now, but I admit, yearning for happy go lucky moments, still overtakes my desires.

I guess we all wish for things we will never experience.

That desire is not a need and fades as quickly as unwanted thought, now.

Moral of the story: Never give up, never give in, fight for your wellbeing.

It is the journey we need to improve, not the destination.

The destination is always death, so enjoy the ride as much as possible.

That does not mean chasing pleasure but have enormous gratitude and be a world class giver for a start.

Have a good journey today.

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Mindfulness versus Selfishness

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A mindful existence resembles a giver, a person with a healthy list of things he/she is grateful for. A selfish existence brings a sense of lack, a takers mentality.

Kindness, compassion and empathy are other traits a mindful person strives to incorporate into daily life.

Selfishness could be considered as the antithesis of mindfulness.

Mindfulness strives to do no harm, first to ourselves, then to all we meet.

Selfishness leads to suffering, a heightened sense of lack haunts us.

Happiness is not found out there, that sense of lack is created by our unworthy “Ego”.

Change your behavior, be kind instead of selfish, be a giver not a taker, use compassion, be a helper instead of a harsh critic.

Possessions, status, and power are fleeting, kindness to others, giving, lasts beyond our death.

We are on this journey together, not in competition.

There is plenty for all of us, realize happiness is tied to how we treat those less fortunate.

Release that sense of lack, increase your awareness of the gratitude before you.

Smile, be kind, be compassionate, give and be happy.

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Personal Identity: who cares

Pixabay: DarkWorkX

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Excerpt from the book “The Unbelievable Happiness of What Is”

“Without even realizing it, you draw much of your felt sense of personal identity—that is, who you think you are—primarily from strongly held and often unconscious beliefs.

In a very real sense, your beliefs define who and what you think you are, so a threat to your beliefs can feel like a threat to your very existence.“

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My two cents: Emotions do not define us, we all have the same emotions, if anything they link is together with shared experience.

Our mindfulness practice aims to let identity lose importance.

Being present is far more important than something that is ephemeral, transparent and fleeting (An Emotion).”

I am so much more than an emotion, my brilliance shines in this present moment, beyond any judgment Marty holds.

Another practice is to let negative emotions flow on through, resentment, jealousy, anger, doubt, worry, feeling sorry for ourself, etc.

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Thoughts are an appendage, there beyond your outstretched arm?

Pixabay: StockSnap

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Thoughts are air without attention, harmless, unnoticed noise.

Thoughts are an appendage, our true self, soul is our core.

Let’s explore that hypothesis. Meditation/Mindfulness practice continues when our eyes are open and we are in the waking world.

The next thought that our mind becomes enthralled with, pull back and observe it.

We can isolate this thought, separate it with our focus.

Without attention, we can witness how transparent and fleeting a thought becomes.

We witness the thought arriving, then without attention, fade quickly, like it never existed.

We can see how powerless any thought or emotion is without energy, attention.

If we want to be happy or heal, where we place our attention is our greatest power.

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Problems are always present

Pixabay: geralt / 20634 images

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“Nothing to Grasp” by Joan Tollifson

“I’ve discovered that there is no end to problems.

When we cure one problem, a new one emerges.

But this only becomes a source of suffering if we imagine it should or could be otherwise.

In fact, the turbulent, cloudy weather is as integral to the whole as the clear, sunny weather.

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My two cents: We must endure life’s hard times to earn the better times.

Accept the challenges life presents as part of the journey.

We are lacking nothing that prevents us from being happy.

Nothing!

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Sunday morning Insights

Pixabay: Larisa-K

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Sufferers of PTSD, depression or other disorders are generally confused and anxious.

Fear mixed with intense anxiety stops the mind from functioning properly.

We sense danger from a perceived lethal threat. We want to escape as quickly as possible, our defense mechanism has complete control.

Unfortunately, going out in public, say to a restaurant, would fire my fight or flight mechanism without my consent.

Somehow these situations linked to my abusive childhood. Our triggers seem to pick their own scenario.

Cognitively I understood no real danger existed, my defense mechanism did not agree.

Healing for me, consisted of sitting calmly, focused on my breath, as my nervous system fired violently.

My focus released the scary thoughts, then concentrated on the connected body sensations. For me, my solar plexus is where my trauma manifested inside the body.

Making friends with the bodies nervous system, intimately knowing (being with) the sensations, integrated my trauma.

Being able to build focus on the breath is body armor for the anxiety disorders.

The breath controls our nervous system and heavily influences our defense mechanism.

Navy Seals are taught to dissipate fear by extending their exhales.

Cortisol and adrenaline can be used for fuel instead of being afraid or triggered.

PTSD has access to the switch firing our fight or flight mechanism, we have final control of our nervous system.

Remember trauma is stored in the right hemisphere, inside our amygdala.

We can not access stored trauma consciously.

Meditation grants us direct access to our stored trauma.

No miracle just current neuroscience.

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